Trump warns Comey over media leaks

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The request comes in response to Trump's tweet Friday morning in which he stated that Comey "better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" Which professional advisors would be willing to speak honestly with him if they thought they were being taped, and that Trump would later use that tape against them? Comey is only the second director to be fired in the 82-year history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and some journalists found it remarkable that there seemed to be such confusion at the White House among key aides. Trump's firing of Comey already has left him with the dubious distinction of being the first president since Nixon to fire a law enforcement official overseeing an investigation tied to the White House.

But Trump shattered that explanation himself on Thursday when he said he had always meant to fire Comey and that his decision was linked to the ongoing investigation into his campaign's ties with Russian Federation.

By Mr. Comey's account, his answer to Mr. Trump's initial question apparently did not satisfy the president, the associates said.

Mr Trump's taunt will likely be criticised by media organisations around the world. A letter released by the President's lawyers publicly set out the Russian transactions reported on Mr Trump's tax returns for the first time.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, tweeted "Mr. President, if there are "tapes" relevant to the Comey firing, it's because you made them and they should be provided to Congress".

Trump said he asked the FBI director if he was under investigation, a question that legal experts called highly unusual if not improper.

Trump also hit back on Friday at media reports questioning the credibility of White House accounts of why Comey was sacked, which have changed over the course of the week and threatened an end to regular White House press briefings.

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Earlier, Mr Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer, was criticised for holding a press briefing to which only selected media organisations were invited.

The president also reacted to claims that he undermined his staff by threatening to cancel future "press briefings", he said in a series of tweets Friday.

The White House initially cited a Justice Department memo criticising Mr Comey's handling of last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails as the impetus for Mr Trump's decision.

Earlier Thursday, on Capitol Hill, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe strongly disputed the White House's assertion that Comey had been fired in part because he had lost the confidence of the FBI's own rank-and-file. Everything is on the up and up, though, because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recommended Comey's firing-the same Jeff Sessions who had to recuse himself from the Russia/Trump campaign investigation because he lied during his confirmation hearing.

The White House said Trump is weighing options for replacing Comey, a decision that could have broad implications for the future of the Russian Federation investigation.

The other two times Trump said he asked Comey whether he was under investigation were in telephone conversations.

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